A cold in dogs: causes, symptoms and prevention
The wet and cold winter weather not only troubles us humans, but also our dogs. Just like you, your dog can get a cold too. Find out below what can cause a cold in dogs and what symptoms it leads to. We will also explain how you can prevent your dog from catching a cold in the first place.
Possible causes of a cold in dogs
A cold in dogs can have various reasons. In many cases a weakened immune system is responsible for the infection. The risk of catching a cold is especially high in cold and wet weather in autumn and winter, if you don't dry your dog properly after walking it.
Also keep in mind that breeds with short hair are more sensitive to cold weather. They can catch a cold more easily than dogs with a long coat. If your dog is a breed that is particularly sensitive to the cold, it is best to abstain from long walks in the winter.
Common symptoms of a cold in dogs
A cold in dogs presents itself with similar symptoms to those in humans. A runny nose and frequent sneezing are typical signs that your dog has caught a chill.
Sooner or later, a cough can develop, which is often a further symptom of a dog's cold. If the infection is more severe, it is also very likely that the four-legged friend will have a fever. Since a dog with a cold feels limp and tired, you will also find that the animal's urge to move has decreased significantly.
In addition to the above mentioned complaints, the following symptoms can also indicate a cold in a dog:
- Watery and reddened eyes
- Frequent rubbing of the nose
- Rattling respiratory sounds
- Sputum or even vomiting
- Quick or slow breathing
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
Fever: how to take your dog's temperature
The healthy temperature of an adult dog is between 37.5 and 39 degrees Celsius. If it has a bad cold, your four-legged friend may develop a fever. It is therefore advisable that you check its body temperature at regular intervals.
In order to take your dog's temperature, you will need a medical thermometer that is suitable for rectal measurement. An ear thermometer is not recommended as it does not measure the temperature accurately.
Taking the temperature in dogs is similar to the way it works in humans. Hold your four-legged friend's tail up so that its anus is exposed. Now insert the thermometer until the metal tip is no longer visible and press the button on the side of the device.
Wait until you can hear the signal from the thermometer, pull it out and read the temperature on the display. If the body temperature is 40 degrees or more, your dog definitely has a fever and needs to be seen by a vet.
Note: Please be as gentle as possible when taking the temperature so as not to hurt your dog. If necessary, use a little petroleum jelly to make inserting the thermometer more comfortable for your furry friend.
Appropriate care: how you can help you dog to recover
A dog with a cold does not always require veterinary treatment. You can usually control minor ailments without the help of a vet. Often a few days of rest and care are enough to cure the infection and your dog should soon be back to normal.
However, if the symptoms persist or are more serious, such as fever or purulent nasal discharge, a visit to the vet may be necessary. They can examine your dog and determine appropriate treatment measures.
In the following article, we explain in detail what the veterinary treatment of a cold in dogs usually consists of and how you can encourage the recovery of your four-legged friend at home:
How to prevent a cold in dogs
Whether your dog is prone to catching a cold depends above all on its general health. Animals with a strong immune system usually cope much better with the cold season than those whose defences are weakened.
As the outdoor temperatures drop, you should therefore think about how you can best support your dog's immune system and therefore also reduce the risk of a cold.
To reduce the risk of your dog catching a cold, you should pay particular attention to the following points:
- Avoid unnecessary stress in everyday life, as this can weaken the immune system of your four-legged friend in the long run.
- Ensure that your dog gets enough rest and sleep every day to allow its body to regenerate.
- Always treat illnesses promptly so that the immune system, which has been weakened by the pathogens, can regenerate quickly.
- Provide an adequate supply of nutrients by choosing high-quality dog food such as Bellfor products.
That being said, the breed of your dog also plays an important role in how quickly your dog can catch a cold. While a husky thrives in snow and ice and frolics with great joy in freezing temperatures, the opposite is the case for chihuahuas or French bulldogs. These breeds are quite sensitive to cold weather and will soon feel uncomfortable and catch a cold more easily.
You should therefore consider how sensitive your dog is to the cold and use that as a guideline for the length of your walks in winter. For this purpose it may even help to buy a warming dog coat. In this way you contribute to the animal's well-being and at the same time reduce your dog's chances of catching a cold.
Strong body's defences thanks to Bellfor Immun
A strong immune system is essential for the health of your four-legged friend. Not only does it help prevent your dog from catching a cold. In addition, functioning body's defences are also vital to reducing the risk of many other canine diseases.
For this purpose we have developed Bellfor Immun, a unique dietary supplement. Thanks to its carefully selected ingredients, Bellfor Immun provides your dog with many important nutrients that it needs to build a strong immune system.
The ingredients of Bellfor Immun at a glance:
- Insect protein
- Stinging nettle seeds
- Sea buckthorn
- Rose hip
- Common horsetail
As you can see, Bellfor Immune contains exclusively natural ingredients. The wholesome preparation provides your dog amongst others with valuable amino acids, vitamin C, vitamin B12, magnesium and iron.
With its special combination of nutrients, Bellfor Immun reliably supports the immune system and thus makes an important contribution to preventing your dog from catching a cold or, if the animal is already sick, to supporting a quick recovery.
A cold in dogs: the most important facts at a glance
Colds in dogs are not uncommon in winter. During that time of year, moisture and cold put additional strain on the immune system and can quickly lead to your four-legged friend catching a cold. If so, your dog is likely to experience symptoms similar to those that a cold would cause in yourself.
Fortunately, the infection does normally not last long, therefore your furry friend should feel better after a few days. However, in the case of a severe cold, which may also lead to your dog developing a fever, a visit to the vet can sometimes be necessary.
If you want to reduce the risk of your dog catching a cold, it is particularly important that you boost its immune system. You can do this by providing a balanced diet and avoiding unnecessary stress. We also recommend that you offer your dog a nutritional supplement during autumn and winter such as Bellfor Immun.